The Happiness Factor
“Happiness” and “work” are two terms that, when put together, some may say form an oxymoron. The key to creating a happy workplace is to ensure that these two terms are synonyms for each of your employees. I’ve learned over the years that employee well-being has a crucial impact on the overall success of a company, and ensuring your employees are continually happy is the key to sustained prosperity. Here are three steps I’ve implemented in my business to achieve just that:
Step One: Traffic Light Survey
If your company wants to increase profit, they can compare the current period’s profit amount with those of previous periods. Increasing company happiness is no different. You must be aware of current happiness levels to be sure that levels are increasing. Start by asking three questions each day through an easy-to-use online form, which includes a comment section. The first two questions will ask employees to choose between the choices of “super green,” “green,” “yellow” and “red.”
- - In what mood did you arrive today?
- - In what mood are you leaving today?
- - On a scale of one to four, how much did you like the tasks you did today?
This quick survey becomes part of the daily routines and habits of employees. Not only does this survey give you a sense of the happiness levels in the office, but it also encourages employees to be more frank and self-aware. There are various ways to analyze the results. One way is to use a Google document that sends outcomes to a central location, collects the data and compiles
it all in one document. This document will then be used as a comparison tool against the previous periods to be discussed openly. In addition to this once-a-day form, a more extensive once-a-month form will enhance your knowledge of employee well-being. This monthly survey should discuss a wider variety
of topics, including remuneration, employee relations, work/life balance, alignment of company goals and personal goals, etc.
Step Two: Hold an Open Discussion
After collecting all of the data, it’s time for the most important part: an open discussion of the results and brainstorming of solutions. Incorporate this discussion into your weekly meeting. An employee needs to read the results, stating averages and any good or bad comments. It is crucial that this employee is not always the boss since this survey is not meant to be an evaluation, but rather an open discussion. This structure builds trust in the workplace. The boss isn’t analyzing results and giving feedback; this isn’t a pass/fail exam for employees. This is an exercise with the pure intention of, as a team, being more aware of the office’s collective happiness and taking actions to increase it.
The “super green” or “green” results hold essentially the same meaning as it does on the road: keep going. A “yellow” response signifies that you need to slow down and leave it to the person to decide if there is an issue or if it has since been resolved. A “red” response signifies that you need to stop and address the issue. It is extremely important to maintain open communication in the office, allowing employees to speak in private about an issue if they feel the need. A monthly meeting is also an ideal time to discuss the results obtained from the once-a-month survey. During this more extensive discussion, you are able to go over the statistics as compared to previous months, while discussing opportunities for growth and ways to improve results for the upcoming months.
Step Three: Take Action
Once your team has discussed all of the results and explored solutions, it’s time to take action. Doing so makes the entire process valuable and worthwhile for the team. If some tasks cause stress for an employee, then it is crucial to find realistic things you can do to decrease the stress. In the following weeks, you can determine the real impact of these actions based on the outcomes of the survey as compared to previous ones. Being able to measure the outcome of these actions provides you with conclusive results that determine if you are, in fact, increasing employee well-being, or if you need to return to the drawing board for new ideas and solutions.
If you want to improve productivity, increase motivation and enhance the flow of positivity in your company, you have to start somewhere. For me, the traffic light and surveys provide my team with tangible results that can be monitored. Just as with anything else in business that needs to be improved, you need
a benchmark; a way to know when the results are favorable or when tweaks need to be made. These methods provide you with this benchmark at a low cost of time and money, proving it will surely provide you the best return on investment you’ve seen yet.
David Tomás is an EO Spain – Barcelona member and the co-founder of Cyberclick Group, a leading digital- marketing company. Contact David at